San Antonio Joint Custody Lawyers
If you are in a child custody dispute and are seeking joint custody, Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. is here to help. Joint custody refers to both parents or guardians sharing the rights and responsibilities of parenthood with each other. Texas courts typically default to a joint custody plan, as the law presumes that a child needs both parents in their life. As such, Texas courts are reluctant to split up a family in a custody dispute. If you live in the same household as or are married to your child’s other parent, you likely already have joint custody.
Entering into a child custody case without a San Antonio child custody attorney can have a severely detrimental impact on your family, both personally and structurally. Many pro-se litigants face undesirable results in their custody proceedings due to a lack sufficient understanding of Texas custody laws, court procedures, and judges’ preferences. The team of high-qualified attorneys at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. have decades of experience helping people in navigating their child custody disputes. Contact the knowledgeable and compassionate San Antonio joint custody attorneys of Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. today by calling us at (210) 349-9933 to schedule your free consultation.
Why Choose Us?
Due to the many complexities of child custody laws and proceedings in Texas, it is important to have someone in your corner who empathizes with their clients and their clients’ child (or children) and understands how to achieve the best custody result possible for all parties involved. At Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., we are committed to using our experience and knowledge to obtain the right type of custody arrangement for your family. Our distinguished history of successfully serving our clients and their needs makes Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. the best choice in the San Antonio and South Texas region to handle your joint custody issues.
What Rights Come with Joint Custody?
There are different types of joint custody arrangements, and each carries with it different rights and responsibilities for the parents. When a court awards a joint legal custody arrangement, the child will primarily reside with one parent. However, both parents will retain and share decision-making authority in raising the child, and the parent who does not house the child will still enjoy visitation. In addition to sharing the rights and responsibilities of parenthood, parents who are separated but have a joint custody arrangement must share a set amount of time with the child. It may be an equal split, or one may only see the child on weekends.
Usually, the parents sharing the decision-making authority make these decisions together, but courts do have the power to assign which decisions are shared and which decisions are to be left to each parent if no agreement can be made. The court heavily considers the child’s best interests when delegating which parent will make which decisions, such as the following:
- Who decides where the child goes to school
- Whose power it is to choose what sports or organizations the child may participate in
- Who decides what religion the child practices
- Who decides the child’s diet
- Who decides whether the child receives certain medical treatments, such as vaccines
- Other common parenting decisions
While Texas courts usually prefer joint shared custody arrangements, the court may grant another version of joint custody if negotiations prove contentious for the parents, or the court may even grant sole or split custody to one parent.
How Do I Change My Current Orders to Be Granted Joint Custody?
If you are unsatisfied with your family’s current custody arrangement, it is possible to change your orders to the custody rights you feel are right for your family if the court deems your proposed changes are in the best interest of the child. For example, even if one parent is deemed unfit to share conservatorship (i.e., custody), they may still have the right to visit and interact with the child, depending on the specific facts of the case.
Courts will not usually change orders that have not been in effect for at least two years unless one parent can show a substantial material change in the specific facts of their case. This is a broad standard and ranges from anything a random move across the state to allegations of abuse, bad habits, or reckless behavior by one of the parents. Regardless of how long your custody order has been in place, the court will still want to see any evidence and reasoning for changing the custody arrangement. Providing sufficient evidence can be very challenging if you do not know what to expect in court or what variables to consider and address in court to obtain the desired result. This is where having an experienced attorney on your side can be an asset in helping you navigate the murky legal waters.
Texas courts are given great discretion in granting custody arrangements. Given the legal presumption in Texas that the child’s interest is best served by retaining joint custody, the bottom line is that both parents will likely share at least some parental rights over their child. Nonetheless, courts do also balance the characteristics of each parent when determining which custody arrangement to award. It is of the utmost importance to make sure you represent yourself well, both in and out of court, and that you demonstrate the requisite level of responsibility to help bring about the rights you desire for your family.
Many aspects of the law get overlooked when people attempt to work custody disputes out with the co-parent on their own. In the long run, choosing an attorney can help you realize the best results for you and your family. The attorneys at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. have experience working with families of all backgrounds and a proven history of successfully fighting for the best results possible for each family. At Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. we are committed to using our extensive experience to obtain the joint custody arrangement that you seek for your family.
Our distinguished history of successfully serving our clients and their needs makes Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. the best choice in the San Antonio and South Texas region to handle your joint custody issues. Let our dedicated team of attorneys at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. fight to preserve and protect both you and your child’s best interests. Call (210) 349-9933 today to talk about your case and schedule a free consultation.